University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Arts Collection

Page View

Patrick, Warren A. (ed.) / Show world
(October 30, 1909)

Vaudeville artist has narrow escape,   p. 4


Mardi Gras managers skip: players mourn,   p. 4


Page 4

THE SHO
VAUDEVILLE ARTIST
HAS NARROW ESCAPE
Glasscock, Well Known in Variety, Is Tried on Criminal
Charge, But Is) Released on Petition of Citizens
4
William Donnelly Glasscock and wife,
who are familiarly known in vaudeville
as the Two Leons, are spending the
week in Chicago, prior to starting on a
twenty weeks' engagement on western
time, and their visit here recalls a try-
ing experience that Glasscock in par-
ticular will have occasion to remember
the longest day he lives.   The Two
Leons, who are novelty tight wire art-
ists and who have relatives that have
long been identified with the show busi-
ness and circus life, were with the
Anglo-American tent show the first of
the year and it was at Pickering, La.,
that this event occurred which for a
time threatened to wreck the life of
young Glasscock (Leon) for all time
to come. A shooting affray took place
and in the melee Glasscock, in self-
defense, shot an officer of the law.
Glasscock Faces Crisis.
Although the shooting occurred on
the morning of Feb. 7, of this year, it
was not until Oct. 12 that Glasscock
was tried by a jury of five men, several
of whom, hundreds of the defendant's
sympathizers declared, were against the
accused young man by reason of two
being deputy sheriffs and another a
deputy's son.   Notwithstanding  that
public sentment was wholly in favor
of Glassock and that   the  evidence
favored his plea of self-defense the
jury, after deliberatingthe casefor fif-
teen hours, returned averdict of guilty,
the charge being shooting with intent
to kill. After hearing the decision of
the jury, leading citizens of the town
of Leesville in the Vernon parish of
Louisiana, where the trial took place,
circulated a petition and secured the
signature of 700O persons, presenting it
to the judgeon the morningof Oct. 14
when sentence was pronounced.
Judge Shows Clemency.
The  petition  prayed that the court
show clemency, and when it was an-
nounced that Glasscock would know his
fate on that particular morning, the
theater,where thetrial had takenplace,
asanew courthouse was under course
of construction, was filled with hun-
dreds of people, who awaited the deci-
sionofthe judgewith impatience. The
judge, before he pronounced the sen-
tence, addressed the assemblage.  He
commented onthe case andsaid thathe
haig  received   the  petition  from  the
prominent men of the parish in Glass-
cock's behalf. He also said that others
had appeared personally in behalf of
the defendant and that one or two
others had appeared against him, but
as he had been elected judge he would
do as he thought best and not being
satisfied  with  the  state's  evidence,
would pronounce a very mild sentence.
Glasscock Soon atLiberty.
Calling Glasscock beforehim,heassked
himifherhadanything tohsay. Receiv-
ing  a      negative  reply, the judge sen-
tenced him to five days' imprisonment
in the parish jail, subject to working
the roads. As soon as the crowd in
the theater heard the sentence it ten-
dered Glasscock an ovation and there
was a       general jubilation.  Glasscock
went to jailat 11 O'clock on the morn-
ing  of Oct. 14 and on the following
Monday morning was released onoaspe-
cial order from the judge, the time of
sentence  being  commuted. Glasascock
was showered with congratulations on
all sides, hundreds of the parish resi-
dents showing  an unusual interest in
his release, which evidently gratified
them beyond measure.
Glasscock Returns North.
On the day, after his release from
the parish bastile, Glascock left Lees-
yullein company with his wife for Kan-
sasCity a      a throng   of admirers were
at the station to bid them good-bye.
After visiting friends and relatives in
the Missouri city, Mr. and Mrs. Glass-
cock came to Chicago to makefinala r-
rangements for the resumptionof their
vaudeville tour. Glascock, when seen
by aDShoWorld representative, seemed
glad that the matter was all over and
said that it was an ordeal which he
never cared to repeat as he has aged
considerably as    a result of the ex-
perience, notwithstanding that he was
about 24 years of age and physically
well built. He appeared anxious to for-
get the whole affair, although he was
prevailed on to tell the story of the
trouble that placed him inesuch a har-
assing predicament.
Details of Shooting.
About 2 o'clock on the morning of
February 7last, Glasscock and wife,in
company of about twenty of the per-
formers with the Anglo-American tent
enterprise, were standing in groups un-
der a shed at the small station of the
Kansas City & Southern railroad walt-
Ing for the 2:30 train to carry them
northward. During the wait, the troupe
was passing the time In divers ways
and nothing of interest transpired until
Maurice Oldstein, one of the musicians,
who had deposited his trombone on his
overcoat Inthe station for ashort per-
iod, announced that the coat had dis-
appeared.  A fruitless search ensued
and Oldstein. learning  that  Deputy
Sheriff Louis LeBleu was on the plat-
form, implored him to find the coat.
According to Glasscock, LeBleu, whom
it was alleged had been drinking.
scouted the idea of it being lost and in
the following minutes, chased Oldstein
and fired at him. Glasscock took a
hand in the game and his refusal to
coincide with the officer's views brought
about some hot words. According to
the witnesses, LeBleu fired point-blank
at Glasscock and one of the bullets went
clear through the fleshy part of Glass-
cock's left shoulder. Glasscock, seeing
that his life was in danger, returned
the fire and the bullet from his 32
Twenty   Special  entered the officer's
abdomen and severed the intestinal
tubes in nine separate places.
Six Shots Fired at Glasscock.
Four more shots from the deputy's
45 Colt's revolver were directed toward
Glasscock and three of them inflicted
flesh wounds. During the fusillade of
leaden missles, George Kerwin, another
musician with the show, was shot in the
leg, near the hip, the impact of the
bullet fracturing  the bone.  In  the
thickest of the fight, the performers
made a rapid getaway, some taking to
the woods while others later boarded
the incoming train. Glasscock and his
wife got theirbaggage aboard the cars
and hoarded it without any further re-
sistance. Glasscock,whoisa Esoutherner
by birth, felt that his safety depended
On his flight from the scene of shoot-
ingand some hours later waswell into
northern territory.
Reward Was Offered.
LeBleu recovered, but made every
effort to find Glasscock. Eight whites
and one negro, who failed to catch the
train, were arrested by the deputies and
placed in jail. For twelve days, they
were in "durance vile," but the deputies
were unable to get thedesired informa-
tion. A reward of $500 was offered for
Glasscock's  arrest.  Meanwhile  the
grand jury met and returned an indict-
ment against Glasscock, charging him
shooting with intent to murder. Later,
however, the reading of the indictment
waschanged when the factsof thecase
became known. Glasscock was arrested
on April 22 at Bozeman, Mont., placed
in jail until the 27th, when he was
taken to Leesville for trial. Glasscock
was located through decoy letters sent
to an amusement sheet and which were
forwarded to him.
Story Is Retold.
Glasscock was released on bond on
May 1, the day after his arrival at Lees-
ville, Influential citizens of the town
signing the document which permitted
the accused man to go free until the
day of his trial. Glasscock and his wife
filled in various weeks with their vaude-
ville act, performing by special request
in the very theater in which Glasscock
was later tried. When the trial was
held, witnesses were brought far and
wide by Glasscock, and all corroborated
the prisoner's story. LeBleu and Glass-
cock both exhibited reminders of the
shooting and the former's statement that
he shot the latter in the back was dis-
proved by expert surgical testimony.
The result of the trial is told in the
foregoing chapters.
Wife Was Loyal.
Glasscock's wife, according to a lead-
ing southern paper, who during the
trial, proved herself a woman in every
respect. It said she made many friends
in Leesville by her quiet, modest and
unassuming ways. Mr. and Mrs. Glass-
cock have two children. The Glasscocks
come of generations of show people.
Glasscock's father was one of the old-
time circus owners. Mrs. Glasscock is
a sister of Dan Leon, who for years
was connected with the principal cir-
cuses of the country. He has been with
Ringling Bros., the Lemon, Van Amberg,
Sun and Robison shows and others. He
is a bareback rider. His wife, Jesse
Leon, is a daring tight wire artist, who
travels wth her husband on his circus
trips, doing her specialty. Dan and
Jessie Leon are now spending the win-
ter at their home in Kansas City. Mrs.
Glasscock is also a sister of Anna Scott,
who with her daughter are appearing
in vaudeville in their novelty rolling
globe act.
Glasscock's Friends Elated.
Glasscock, whose friends are legion,
and who is a popular White Rat, is be-
ing showered with congratulations on
all sides.  The papers of the south
printed long articles in which they all
favored him in his trial and said that
It was a plain case of self-defense.
Glasseock is of a pleasing appearance
and speaks with a delightful southern
accent. He and his wife are in excel-
lent health and are rejoicing that the
trouble in the south is now a matter of
history.
Williams Gets New Song.
It is rumored that Bert A. Williams
has accepted a song from the prolific
pen of Julius Caspar Nathan, a young
lyric writer of the city. The title of
the song will not be announced until It
is published by Will Rossiter.
SALEM, Mass., Oct. 23.-Leaving a
number of performers behind, to mourn
for their salaries, Charles S. Blackslager
and John Frisch, Jr., managers of the
Mardi Gras Amusement company, de-
parted from this city last week and
their whereabouts are unknown.
Saturday night, at the close of the
show, after the receipts of the three
days had been totalled up and Messrs.
Frisch and Blackslager had received
the company's share from the theater
managemerit,  these  two   gentlemen
suddenly disappeared as if the earth
had swallowed them up, leaving be-
hind them a score or more perform-
ers clamoring for money to pay rail-
road fares, board bills and other ex-
penses incidental to being "presented"
by the Mardi Gras Amusement com-
pany. The getaway of the managers
was so sudden that some of the show
people were in prettybad, two or three
of them having scarcely enough to buy
stamps to write home for funds.
The determination of the two man-
agers to jump out seems to have been
a sudden one, evidently induced by the
very poor reception that the show got
here, as allthe arrangements forotaking
the show to Haverhill today had been
made and the latter city had been ex-
clusively billed in preparation for the
coming of the circus.
The performers got together yester-
day, and, on learning froo the manage-
mentofthe Haverhill theater thatthere
had been a good advance sale for the
show, they decided to goahead andput
the circus on themselves on a sort of
co-operative basis. With theproverbial
loyalty and good fellowship of the actor
folks, everybody stuck with the show,
and those that had a little money saw
to it that the money for the transfer
of the baggage and the railroad fare,
wore forthcoming.
The show folks werepretty sore Suc
urday night when they found that rt
managers and the receipts were fe
missing, but yesterday, when the th -
had been talked over, they seemed to
think that it was worth whatever little
money the two men got to be rid o
them. Neither apparently knew any-
thing about thetheatrical business,and
the performers figure they are much
better off without them. Despite this
fact however, if either of the worthy
gentlemen  ever  comes face to face
again withanyofthe husky male mem-
bers of this circus troupe, there are
apt to he some ground and lofty tun-
bling  stunts pulled off.
VAUDEVILLE MANAGER
HITS ON GOOD SCHEME.
Pennsylvania Man Reserves Seats at
SmallAdditional Cost to Patrons
Who Want to Avoid Crowd.
READING, Pa.,Oct. 20.-To the Show
World's representative, Manager C. w.
Keeney,of the GrandOpera House said:
"Owing to the requestofmanypatrons
who are anxious to see the high-class
attractions that are booked and do not
wish to be caught In the crowds when
the doors open, we have decided to re-
serve 200 seats for evenings only, at
an additional charge of fivescents. The
number of seats reserved, however, Is
so small that there will be no unjust
discrimination against the crowds who
find the opera house their favorite re-
sort. By this change the management
is able to run eight standard acts week-
ly hereafter, instead of six."-STIRL.
Halderman Tells His Side.
C. S. Halderman, manager of the Gem
theater in Gary, Ind., says that he did
fine an actor 90 cents, and says that he
thinks he did rihlt in '0 doing T
actor, according tos contrac,Owasa lt
pear at my theater at 2:30 for rehe ap
and he did not show up until1:sal
the evening.    In the meantime I tad
sent for someone to take his Place
When the first actor arrived I allaed
him to go on, but I first suggeste tha
he pay 70 cents that the others an hat
expended for car fare, and 20 cents that
I had paid out for telephone sentsc.ha
told him he could consider itafine I
1he so wished, but that I insisted that
he pay me the expense I hadbeenp at
to on account of his being late."
Kusell Known in Chicago.
Jules Kusell, the actor who was
stricken blind last week on theste
of the Majestic theater in Tornt,was
formerly a member of thestockcn.
pany at the old Hopkins theater,whet
Charles P. Elliott was managereofthat
house.    While singing a solo, In a
sketch, Mr. Kusell was stricken with
total blindness, but kept On with his
song, and the audience did not know
of his affliction until later.
WILLIAM DONNELLY GLASSCOC.
A Well-Known Vandevillian, Acquited
of Criminal Charge.
Benjamin Is the Pilot.
Paul Benjamin, the big, hearty thi
atrical advance agent, is in the city, aud
he has been here for a few days aris
ing the public to the fact thatMaxine
Elliott is playing at the Garrick theater
Mr. Benjamin was formerly a press
agent in Milwaukee andlaterstaruckit
rich by getting out with some ofthe
"big ones."  He has been meeting with
much success in landing stuff Inthe
Chicago newspapers.
Vaudevillian's Wife Insae.
DANVILLE, Ill., Oct. 20.-Mrs. ale
Whittington, wife of a vaudevillePt:
former, was adjudged insane here Sth
urday and sent to the asylum for the
insane in Kankakee.
W  WORLD                         October 3o,
MARDI GRAS MANAGERS
SKIP: PLAYERS MOURN
Chas. S. Blackslager and John Frisch, Jr., Badly Needed by
Employes Left Behind
01:lt
EXECUTIVE OFFICES
THE.              YOUNG MAN, HAVE YOUA NOSE
O      9       F   R       U   FOR AMUSEMENT NEWS?
GRAND OPERA HOUSE BLDG.
Chicago, U. S. A.
ENERGETIC CORRESPONDENTS WANTED
THE SHOW WORLD is desirous of securing representatives inevery
section of the United States and Canada, and to that end correspondenceis
invited from young men of good personal address in all communitiesnot yet
covered by this journal. We want enrgetic, wide awake correspondents
of business ability who will, acting as absolutely impartial observerso
events, provide us with the latest and most reliable NEWS of happenings in
their locality. EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY; LIBERAL COMISIONS.
For full particulars address, Correspondence Editor ofTHE SHOW
WORLD, Chicago.
THE SHOW WORLD IS RECOGNIZED AS THE WORLD'S GREATEST
AMUSEMENT NEWSPAPER.
This Week's News This Week-on the News Stands Every Saturday


Go up to Top of Page